Anna Netrebko, An Amazing Prima Donna - a documentary in Russian with English subtitles

Uploaded by gallalala on 25.12.2011

An Amazing Prima Donna
[Man's voice] Yes, you know how to play this thing.
Well, yes, I failed to become a pianist..even though I tried very hard.
A Cinderella Story. They say that I used to mop floors. How did they come to know that?
Saint Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre
And here is that entrance hall.
Here I started my theatrical career.
I used to mop floors here for two years.
I studied in the music conservatory at that time.
That was a wonderful, but difficult time.
You see, this floor area is huge,
and I had to finish mopping it before the end of the first act of an opera or a ballet.
Sometimes the first act was only 15 minutes long. It was a very short term.
But we worked very hard.
[Newscaster's voice] Today the ceremony was held in the Grand Kremlin Palace to celebrate the achievements of the distinguished people of Russia in science, culture and arts.
[Anna] It was a great honour for me.
I had no idea that this was to happen.
I was told about it a day before the ceremony.
I urgently left for Moscow from Covent Garden where I sang in Rigoletto.
I stayed in Moscow for one day, only to attend that amazing ceremony.
It was unforgettable.
I visited the Kremlin for the first time.
I was very nervous and afraid to say something wrong.
I am very proud to be Russian,
and I am very happy that my education is based on the Russian vocal school.
I spent ten years to learn to sing a little bit
And when I left the musical conservatory and joined the theatre, I continued my studies.
I had to study a lot of things very quickly.
And I never stop studying.
I try to sing in Russia as much as I can.
I think I am better known in Western countries because I have a contract with Deutsche Grammophone and they organised my promotion.
This promotion campaign is very extensive.
My photos and interviews were in every magazine, in every newspaper and on television, and this explains my popularity.
Of course I hope I'm popular not only due to this, because audience always welcome me warmly.
There was one story in Munich last year.
I sang three Traviatas there, but the waiting list was so big, people wanted to hear that Traviata so much,
that the Bavarian State Opera decided to give another performance.
I was very much pleased.
[Valery Gergiev] Anna achieved a high level of mastership.
She makes all audience empathatic.
At a certain moment, the tragedy of her character becomes an important event in the life of every person who is present in the theatre.
This is a manifestation of a great artistic talent. She is not only a great singer, but a great actress as well.
To capture the audience like this, one needs not only a great voice and looks.
My international career...
I had the first great success in Metropolitan Opera three years ago with Gergiev, but the real fame came to me after Salzburg where I sang Donna Anna.
And then it happened, very unexpectedly for everyone and for me.
Suddenly I became very famous.
All newspapers wrote that a new star was born.
After that all major European theatres started inviting me.
It was mainly Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera, and I sing a lot in the USA.
Mariinski Theater has always been and will be the most important theatre for me.
It's my favourite one.
I am always happy to return here and sing on this wonderful stage.
When I was 16 I escaped from the school ball because I had a plane at 4:30 am.
I had to go to Peterburg to enter the musical high school.
So I escaped from my first ball, and I don’t regret this.
Valery Abisalovich (Gergiev) was a god father for me in my profession.
He was the first man to believe in me.
He gave me the opportunity to sing big, serious parts.
It was difficult, but I had the great desire to correspond to the high level which was offered to me,
and that desire helped me to quickly gain the necessary professionalism.
Here, I am the “genius” designer of this flat, and I planned this crazy corridor.
The guest room is over there.
There is nothing here but an enormous soft bed.
What else could guests want? Nothing else.
The bed is nice, and not at all boring.
This amazing doll sees the world through rose-coloured spectacles.
And this tiny doll is my “alter ego.”
When I’m in bad mood I look exactly like this – don’t approach me then!
I may buy a house in Italy because my boyfriend is Italian.
But these are my future plans yet.
You are my sweetheart, my beautiful boy.
We sang in Placido Domingo’s theatre in Washington.
It was Rigoletto.
He enjoyed killing me there.
He likes my voice, and he helps me a lot.
He is always among the audience. He listens to me attentively, and points out my mistakes to me.
I believe him and I know he is always right because he has a perfect ear for music.
A cone of ice-cream please. Would you like an ice-cream?
Certain things used to happen late in my life.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 22. It was pretty late.
I was always busy, studying.
And I was an urchin.
I never paid much attention to boys.
In fact, I didn't like anyone.
Even when I came to Petersburg, I didn't like anyone.
They were not my type.
Perhaps I was waiting for a prince.
This is my first day at school.
I’m so small, and my bow is huge.
He proposed to me, but I don't want to get married yet.
I feel so nice now. I enjoy freedom. I enjoy my life.
10 or 5 years ago I badly wanted to get married, to have a family and kids of my own.
But I have changed. I may change again in a couple of years, who knows.
I’m always so busy, I travel a lot, I work a lot, I have no time for other things.
I find my life interesting, especially because I’m travelling around beautiful countries, I meet amazing people and I sing in amazing opera houses.
Life is great.
Coming to the stage is always the brightest moment in my life.
Only there I feel truly happy.
I am fully satisfied with my work.
I don’t want to have a family of my own… yet.
Dad… I’m sorry…
Krasnodar is a part of my life, a part of me, it will always stay in my heart.
My roots are very important for me, as for any other person.
Our garden… our vineyard… my Dad’s excellent wine which I never drank as a child, of course.
And my Dad, who is always happy to see me.
When I come home, a crowd gathers in our house, 30 people at least.
I always return there gladly, to charge with positive energy.
[Man’s voice] She can paint very well, with ink and with oil.
I have big plates at home which were painted by Anya.
Yuri Nikolaevich Netrebko
She used to boast that she sold one of her paintings here, in Nevsky Prospekt, when she was a student.
She used to write novels.
I still keep these thick notebooks at home.
She wrote romance novels and her classmates enjoyed reading them.
Once she ran away when she took on horseback riding.
But all these hobbies were temporary.
Singing remained forever.
This is Chitta. My mom brought her to me from Czechoslovakia when I was three.
When I brought her to school, everyone was rapturous, because we didn't have such toys in the Soviet Union at that time.
She lost one eye somewhere, but I still love her very much.
This is my only remaining toy which I have kept.
Our family had very happy times
and we became even closer to each other during my mom’s illness and after her death.
I don’t think such wounds can ever heal.
They ache forever. But life goes on.
I wish all the best to my dad.
He is still young, he is only 70!
I don’t think anyone could ever replace my mom,
but it's very important for any man to become happy.
I call my dad nearly every day, no matter where I may be, from any part of the world.
I try to visit Krasnodar regularly, and my Dad comes to me.
He was in Salzburg to see my premiere.
My sister came there too. We see each other very often and always keep in touch.
[to Gergiev] Hello! I'm fine, how are you?
[Anna’s father to Gergiev] You have exhausted her with this working regime.
[Gergiev] Yes, it’s awful.
[Anna’s father] Everybody knows that’s Gergiev's usual way.
Gergiev always works like that.
We try not to leave her alone for a long time.
When she is in Europe, I often stay with her.
And in Petersburg, of course.
I’m satisfied. I think she sang well.
Great! Since my father said it was good, it was really good then.
Well, listen to me my dear. This opera of yours, where you die… enough with it.
I’m fed up. Such scenes make me distressed.
Do you think it’s easy for me to see you dying here? But you act rather well, yes, you do.
Once I “died” in an opera, and I was lying and thinking,
“The performance isn’t over, and I have to lie here for a long time.
I can’t even sneeze or scratch or open my eyes…
I often “die”, but I always resurrect.
The light goes on, the public applauses, and I resurrect. I feel happy.
I know it’s just a game.
My congratulations. You were so good. You were great!
My congratulations. Sorry that I have stabbed you.
Her career launched like a rocket.
[Elena Matusovskaya, tutor, Mariinski Teater]
One moment she was with us, and another moment she is on the top, and we don’t see her any more.
The recent history of opera has not witnessed such examples.
It’s like a miracle, in a way.
Thank you! My congratulations. You are amazing! You are a great “dad”!
This dad has a beautiful daughter!
When Anna appears on stage, it feels like an electric discharge.
An invisible link is immediately established between her and public,
and public is enveloped with Anna’s energy.
It’s very rare and unique that a singer possesses both beauty and an amazing voice.
She is artistic, and she has a very strong character.
You were stunning - Oh, thank you.
It’s not the first act, it’s a piece of cake to sing.
The love of public cannot be bought by any promotion campaigns.
Every time I have to prove and win the love of audience.
Now I have a lot of admirers now, especially in Germany.
I had an overwhelming success in Salzburg.
It was an unusual production, full of passion.
Tickets cost over 4000 Euros.
There was an auction in Bavarian Opera.
I didn’t know that the tickets were sold in the auction for very big money.
I wasn’t informed and I received none of this money.
I was told the money was used for some beneficial purposes.
I hope it was true.
My friends brought me a magazine which wrote that my fees were over a million of dollars.
It was ridiculous.
Besides, opera theatres are legally forbidden to tell anyone about their artists’ fees.
There are a lot of lies.
First, I don’t earn millions of dollars.
Second, I don’t live abroad. I live in Petersburg.
I bought an apartment in New York near Metropolitan Opera,
because I will work there a lot in future.
I have always wanted to live in New York.
But I don’t move there permanently; I will remain a Petersburger.
New York will be my second home.
My favourite little yard in Petersburg.
It’s winter, and it’s cold outside, but it’s warm in here.
This room is called “a boudoir.”
Each actress should have her own boudoir with a big looking glass and a lot of cosmetics.
Now I also have a special lady's sanctum with a desk where I put on make up.
I decided to decorate my room with this awful caryatid.
She is on purpose here.
I am going to make piercing in her breasts.
Piercing is essential here.
This is a Louis Vuitton coat. It’s my treasure.
My “crown" is my brooch bought for 10 pounds in England.
The crown is the brooch which I bought for 10 pounds in England. I love it very much.
People offered me the job of a model many times.
They approached me in the street very often in America, and asked: “Would you like to work as a model?”
I told them: “I’m old, and your models are only 18.”
These are all my dresses.
There are very many of them.
I haven't counted them.
I even have such an awful dress with the Eifell tower on the bottom. People of Salzburg were appalled.
I have a lot of concert dresses.
I have kept them for many years,
and I’m always going to give them someone as a gift.
I must start giving them away after all.
All of them are sparkling.
I like sparkling stuff, because I am a gipsy.
My great-grandfather was a gypsy.
That is why I love all these dangling and jingling things.
He was a very intelligent person.
He was a photographer.
He owned one of the first photo studios in Petersburg, and five guest houses.
He was a serious-minded gypsy.
So I returned here.
I follow Anna’s huge success with great pleasure.
I wish her to pass this pleasant, but serious test with fame and triumph,
and remain charmingly simple, or simply charming.
She has been with Mariinsky theatre over ten years.
I’m so happy to have recorded the Russian disk.
It will be released by the end of this year.
I’m especially happy that it was recorded in this theatre, with our orchestra.
The orchestra sounds amazing.
I heard the recording, it is the best orchestra in the world.
Our orchestra is the best performer of Russian music.
And Valery Abisalovich helped me a lot.
I have always had rivals.
There are many amazing singers,
and soprano is the most common type of voice.
I have my own niche.
I know I am different from others.
I have my own distinct features which other people don’t have.
I may be better at some things, and I may be worse in other things.
But this is me.
I was told many times that my voice is recognizable at once.
It’s good, I’m happy to hear that.
It’s very difficult to sing opera.
It’s very hard both physically and emotionally.
Weight is lost very quickly, and I immediately feel hungry.
I was going to cook something for you, but I had no time.
I was busy all day yesterday.
I bought some delicious pies for you, have you every tried them?
Once I saw myself on TV and was appalled. I looked like a pig.
I used to eat a lot of Bavarian sausages.
I thought I had to lose weight.
I cut my photo from one magazine in which I looked especially fat.
Then I put that photo on the fridge.
Every time I came to the fridge I saw that disgusting photo, and that stopped me.
Now I weight 57,9 kg. My height is 168 cm.
I nearly have the proportions of Venus.
What do I do in my free time?
I don’t listen to classical music.
I don’t think about opera and I don’t think about my performances.
I do quite the opposite.
Yesterday I went to Women's Boxing Championship, and I liked it.
It was very interesting.
I like doing things which are very different from my occupation.
I like basketball. They are so quick, they do amazing things, I like it very much.
I like going to the cinema.
Popcorn, coca-cola and a big screen — just what I need.
Of course, I like shopping and choosing gifts.
I usually bring huge bags full of gifts. I like it very much.
I like going to discos and nightclubs.
I like having good time, like all other people.
Unfortunately, I don’t often have time for that.
If I spend a night at a club, I will need at least one or two days off to have a good rest.
I simply don’t have days off in my life.
I must always be in good form and sound perfect.
So, there is no place for nightclubs in my life…for now.
Last year was a difficult period in my life.
That period was a little depressive.
I wanted to quit.
I wanted to stop singing, because I couldn’t find joy in music any more.
Why? I don’t know.
It was as if I had had too many sweets.
You know, if you have too many sweets, you can’t even look at then later.
The similar thing happened to me.
It was an unpleasant period in my life.
I felt as if all energy was sucked out of me,
as if everyone wanted to snatch a part of me during those two years.
As a result I felt empty.
It was a very bad feeling.
Sometimes I feel scared.
Things look very depressing and tragic at such a moment.
But next day I wake up and everything is OK again.
I don’t know what I will do later.
Perhaps, I won’t be a singer any more.
I may get tired of it, but of course it’s highly unlikely.
But when I stop singing…
I hope I’ll have enough courage to leave the stage
before people start speaking negatively about me
Then, my energy that is bursting inside me will make me find another occupation.
I will have to find another application to my energy.
Anna is lonely, and it is natural.
She bears her burden.
She once told me that she can leave this “train” only if she jumps off it.
There is no other way out.
She is a very quick learner.
She will say, “I don’t remember anything,”
and then she already knows everything, because she has learnt it while on plane.
She always carries a huge number of booklets with her.
She is constantly busy. She hardly has any time for relaxation.
I have sung around 30 roles since I appeared on stage.
There will be Tosca, for sure.
There will be Leonora in Il trovatore.
Give me around seven years, and I’ll be ready for them.
I’m not sure about Tatiana…
I had a look at the vocal score, and ... I don't know.
Never say never.
Maybe… During the recording, I felt very comfortably singing this part.
But recording an aria and singing an opera are different things.
What concerns Rolando, it’s a great luck that we have found each other.
We are going to sing together a lot.
It was very easy for us to form our duet.
It’s wonderful that we will sing together a lot.

She is a great performer.
She is an amazing person, and I’m happy to be her friend.
We are very good friends.
It’s a common thing in our profession.
We must know each other well, and trust each other.
Then we can come out on stage and do things we won’t probably do in other circumstances.
She has a unique ability to be both a singer and an actor on stage.
This feature was readily appraised in Salzburg and in other opera houses.
They will stage special productions for her.
Now she is a performance woman by herself.
Her acting is an outstanding monologue which links together creative efforts concentrated around her.
Rolando is an amazing stage partner to dream about.
We were simply flying with him during the performance like two huge birds,
because we felt a freedom of energy, emotions and acting.
I think Callas is the great Callas, and Domingo is the great Domingo.
We are just Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon.
We have our own paths to the top.
Now we are only going along these paths.
We’ll see what will happen next.
I hope we have a lot of years ahead,
and only then once can judge whether we should have been compared with the greatest singers.
I climbed the Pyramind of the Sun, 265 steps, 74 meters.
This place is said to focus much energy.
I must have taken my energy there.
The things I didn't even dare dream of have already come true.
Such things do happen, can you imagine that?
There was a lot of music when I met Anna.
I’m very happy. I have brought two amazing men with me.
Erwin Schrott is not only the closest friend of Anya.
He is also a loving dad of their little son, Tiago Arua Schrott.
Anna speaks Russian. I speak Spanish.
But we mainly speak to each other in English.
Our son is likely to speak three languages at once.
I think he will be a genius.
We dream about spending more time together, and sharing our love we have finally found.
This is such a rarity.